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The Collected Works of Rudolf Steiner Series 273 Read Description

Goethe's Faust in the Light of Anthroposophy

Volume Two of Spiritual–Scientific Commentaries on Goethe’s Faust (CW 273)

Rudolf Steiner
Introduction by Frederick Amrine
Translated by Burley Channer
September 2016
More details
  • Publisher
  • Published
    1st September 2016
  • ISBN 9781621480914
  • Language English
  • Pages 470 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"

13 lectures in Dornach & Prague, Sept. 30, 1916 – Jan. 19, 1919 (CW 273)
Excerpts from various texts and two poems by Goethe

This volume is the sequel to Anthroposophy in the Light of Goethe’s Faust (CW 272).

By late 1916, Rudolf Steiner had become an important interpreter of Goethe and frequently discussed Faust—probably Goethe’s greatest work—from the perspective of anthroposophic Spiritual Science. Although Steiner’s readings are unconventional and unsystematic, his insights into the text are penetrating and prescient, opening scholarly avenues not discovered or pursued by others until decades later and, in some cases, still await fuller elaboration.

Steiner’s account is completely unlike those of his contemporaries, including those Goethean scholars he most admired. His approach is not a philological construction of the ideal text, a positivistic account of the biographical genesis of the work or influences on Goethe, an intellectual and historical recasting of the drama as implied philosophical argument, or a view of the tale through the lens of an especially refined sensibility. Steiner’s discussions veer into each of these arenas, but, invariably, he steers back to his original course, stressing the least realistic, least historical, and least romantic aspects of Goethe.

Steiner contributed to the scholarship on Faust by, above all, opening new aesthetic perspectives; by revealing the centrality of Greek Mystery religion within the archetypal unconscious of Faust; by showing the duality of evil latent within Goethe’s text; and by exploring an alchemical transformation of consciousness.

In these lectures, Steiner anticipates the best of Goethe’s Faust by helping us to see the Neoplatonic Faust, the Hermetic Faust, the archetypal Faust—in short, the esoteric Faust.

Goethe's Faust in the Light of Anthroposophy is a translation from German of Geisteswissenschaftliche Erläuterungen zu Goethes 'Faust', in 2 Bdn., Bd.2, Das Faust-Problem (GA 272).

Rudolf Steiner

Rudolf Steiner (b. Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner, 1861–1925) was born in the small village of Kraljevec, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now in Croatia), where he grew up. As a young man, he lived in Weimar and Berlin, where he became a well-published scientific, literary, and philosophical scholar, known especially for his work with Goethe’s scientific writings. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he began to develop his early philosophical principles into an approach to systematic research into psychological and spiritual phenomena. Formally beginning his spiritual teaching career under the auspices of the Theosophical Society, Steiner came to use the term Anthroposophy (and spiritual science) for his philosophy, spiritual research, and findings. The influence of Steiner’s multifaceted genius has led to innovative and holistic approaches in medicine, various therapies, philosophy, religious renewal, Waldorf education, education for special needs, threefold economics, biodynamic agriculture, Goethean science, architecture, and the arts of drama, speech, and eurythmy. In 1924, Rudolf Steiner founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which today has branches throughout the world. He died in Dornach, Switzerland.